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Exhibition game provides UNT men’s basketball with season’s first win

Exhibition game provides UNT men’s basketball with season’s first win

Exhibition game provides UNT men’s basketball with season’s first win
November 02
01:48 2013

John Lugo / Staff Writer

The Mean Green men’s basketball team defeated Oklahoma City University 78-70 in an exhibition game that marked the beginning of the 2013-14 basketball season.

The game was close throughout due to poor shooting by both teams, but UNT pulled away late in the second half when senior guard Brandon Waldon made a three-point shot to widen the lead to 10 points with 3:24 remaining in the game.

The Mean Green held a height advantage over Oklahoma City and it showed with the defensive statistics, outrebounding the opponent 47-41 and recording five blocks. Head coach Tony Benford said he was impressed with the performances of 6-foot-8-inch junior forward Armani Flannigan and 6-foot-10-inch junior forward Keith Coleman.

“It’s the first game out and I thought we were a little nervous early on,” head coach Tony Benford. “We wanted to come out and play well defensively. That’s got to be our identity. We got to rebound and defend.”

A new NCAA rule has tightened the officiating on defense, making it more difficult for players to defend without fouling. The rule brings more attention to hand checking, a common motion for defenders guarding an opponent.

“It’s really tough trying to go up to people without a little hand checking and little touching, but I know we have to get better at moving our feet,” junior guard Jordan Williams said. “We work on it every day, but it’s going to take some time to get better.”

On offense, the team shot 38.6 percent on field goals, which the players expect to increase over time as they get used to competition. From the first half to second, the team raised its percentage from 30.6 percent to 47.1 percent, and junior guard Chris Jones said the improvements began with taking the opponent more seriously.

“I wouldn’t say it was difficult – we just really weren’t prepared for the game,” junior guard Chris Jones said. “We came out kind of lackadaisical and we kind of looked down on the team. We can’t do that if we want to win games.”

The team will return to the Super Pit on Monday at 7:30 p.m. when they face Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Feature photo: Senior guard Alzee Williams blocks an Oklahoma City University opponent during Friday night’s game at the Super Pit. Photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer 

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